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Woman Shows Up at Hospital with 61 Pound Uterine Fibroid

World’s Largest Fibroid…

A 53-year-old Malay woman living in Singapore recently grabbed international headlines when it was discovered that she was carrying a 61-pound tumor in her uterus. It was reported that the tumor—a uterine fibroid—had first appeared in the woman’s uterus many years before. This just might be the World’s largest fibroid.

What are Uterine Fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors; in fact, they are the most common pelvic tumor for women to be diagnosed with. They are especially prevalent amongst post-menopausal women aged 50 and over. Fibroid symptoms may include: long and heavy periods, pelvic pain, frequent urination, and constipation. However, most women never suspect they have a uterine fibroid until their doctor discovers one during a routine checkup.

Emergency Hospital Visit

This was not the case for the (unnamed) Malay woman, who stayed home and suffered for too long, apparently avoiding a doctor visit because she was afraid of surgery. By the time she finally arrived at the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Singapore, complaining that she had been struggling to breathe for six months, she was also bedridden and unable to move. What her doctors found upon examining her came as a shock—the mass in the woman’s uterus had grown to 61 pounds or roughly the size of the average second grader.

Giant Fibroids

According to one report, extremely large uterine fibroids (more than 25 pounds) are rare even among the “giant fibroid” class. This is because a doctor usually detects them during routine examinations, or else the patient complains of symptoms before they can grow to that exaggerated size.

Uterine Fibroid Growth

The sizes of uterine fibroids can range from “undetectable” to the human eye to big, bulky masses that can enlarge the uterus. It is typical for women of childbearing age to develop one of these masses in her uterus. If not treated, uterine fibroids grow gradually over the years at a rate of about 9% over six months. Though they hardly ever develop into cancer, uterine fibroids can become life-threatening when they grow so large that they deform the surrounding organs. Such was the predicament of the Malay woman when she entered the hospital that night.
When the woman arrived at the hospital, “the mass had taken over most of her abdominal and pelvic cavities. She also had been struggling to breathe for six months because the air had not been able to travel freely to her lungs.”

Surgery to Remove Uterine Fibroid

Singaporean doctors were successful in removing the abnormally large uterine fibroid, along with the woman’s uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. The process of removing the mass involved several major operations, followed by plastic surgery to reconstruct her abdominal wall. She was discharged two weeks after surgery.
Two months later she was able to breathe easier, move around on her own, and her abdominal scar had healed, the report says.

What Causes Uterine Fibroids

Doctors still aren’t sure what causes fibroids. However, research suggests it has to do with a combination of hormones and genetics. Estrogen and progesterone both promote the growth of fibroids. As far as heredity, African-American women are more likely to develop fibroids—and at an earlier age. Also, if any woman’s mother or sisters have fibroids, it is likely she will develop them as well.

It is critical that women seek professional help immediately if uterine fibroids are suspected. learn more about your options for non-surgical fibroid treatment and everything there is know about fibroids.

A Less-Invasive Procedure to Treat Fibroids; Uterine Artery Embolization Offers Shorter Hospital Stays and a Faster Return to Normal Activities

The article discusses the advantages of embolization as a non-surgical, non-invasive approach with several distinct advantages to fibroid patients.  Key benefits include ease, effectiveness and safety of the procedure. But a very significant difference, according to the Wall Street Journal, is embolization’s extremely quick recovery time.

The fibroid patient can now avoid the life/work impact associated with traditional fibroid surgeries.  Myomectomy and hysterectomy, the two most common surgeries associated with fibroids, involve months of rest and recovery. This can have a serious effect on a patient’s home life, work life and economic situation.  Embolization allows patients to receive fibroid treatment and symptom relief quickly and permanently, in a very short time.  The article concludes that can embolization provide fibroid patients with a non-surgical and streamlined treatment that gets them back to normal, back to work and back to health in a few days, rather than a few months.

Dr. McLucas is quoted on several additional points concerning fibroid embolization.  Interestingly, embolization eliminates the chance of fibroid regrowth.  This is important because one of the most common fibroid surgeries, myomectomy, carries a 50+% chance of fibroids reappearing within 1 year post- surgery.  Patients undergo myomectomy, but may experience a reappearance of fibroids fairly quickly, requiring additional surgery, additional recovery and additional time out of the workplace.  Embolization, on the other hand, permanently inhibits fibroid growth and regrowth.

Correctly performed, embolization means a single procedure, a short recovery time, and no repeat in treatment.

For the practical-minded patient, the difference between surgery and embolization is clear.  Months off work, with the distinct possibility of repeated surgery.  Or a few days off work, with the problem solved quickly. And completely.

For more information about the treatment of Fibroids, contact us today

Uterine Fibroid procedure risks spreading cancer

Power Morcellator Illustration

A device called a laparoscopic power morcellator, which many doctors have used to remove uterine fibroids, has sparked furious debate in the medical community. Why? WSJ’s Jason Bellini has #TheShortAnswer.

This is a great animation explaining details about power morcellators and their usage to remove Uterine Fibroids. Click the “View Article” button below to watch.

View Article

 

Do You Know What a Fibroid Is?

Some interesting, funny and spontaneous video interviews we did at a recent big health fair. We wanted to share them in honor of upcoming Fibroid Awareness Week.

On April 2, at the KJLH Women’s Health Forum, the Fibroid Treatment Collective set out to discover the most intriguing answers to “What is a Fibroid?” (see below) by conducting Man (Woman) on the Street interviews. Interestingly enough, many women did not know what fibroids were or knew very little about them, even though 50% of all women have fibroids. We have a lot of educating to do! It is a good thing Fibroid Awareness Week, April 18-23, will help us do just that!

 

 

 

 

Knowing the symptoms and catching fibroids early can help make treating fibroids much easier. Here are some tidbits to get you started. Be sure to share your new found knowledge with a friend!

What is a fibroid?
Fibroid tumors are benign (non-cancerous) growths that appear on the muscular wall of the uterus. They consist of dense, fibrous tissue (hence the name ‘fibroid’) and are nourished and sustained by a series of blood vessels. Fibroids are the most common tumors of the female genital tract. They range in size from microscopic to as big as a 5-month pregnancy.

What are the symptoms?
While not cancerous, uterine fibroids can cause problems. Depending on size, location and number of fibroids, common symptoms include:

  • Pelvic pain and pressure
  • Excessive bleeding, including prolonged periods and passage of clots, which can lead to anemia.
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Pressure on the bladder, leading to frequent urination
  • Pressure on the bowel, leading to constipation and bloating
  • Infertility

Though very common, most fibroids don’t cause symptoms – only 10 to 20 percent require treatment. However, you may experience no symptoms or have mild symptoms, but still need treatment.

Ok, so you think you have fibroids. What next?
Women usually will undergo an ultrasound in their gynecologist’s office as part of the process to determine if fibroids are present. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is also used to determine if fibroids can be treated with embolization and provide information about any underlying disease. MRI is the standard imaging technique for evaluating fibroids because it provides a clearer image than ultrasound and can detect other causes of pelvic pain and/or bleeding you may be experiencing.

How do I get this taken care of?
You should discuss the best treatment option for your condition with your doctor. Traditional methods include surgeries such as Myomectomy and Hysterectomy, which require long recovery times and hospital stays. Another, non-surgical, non-invasive procedure, called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) cures fibroids with minimal down-time, no hospital stay and little pain. UFE is widely recognized as an effective procedure by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Fibroid Treatment Collective advocates embolization as a safe alternative to traditional fibroid treatments.

 

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